MARGAO: After a long wait of almost a year and half, minority Salcete has finally got a representation in the BJP-led government headed by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday with the induction of Nuvem MLA Alexio Sequeira into the Cabinet.
For the five-time Nuvem MLA, it’s a return back to the Cabinet after a gap of a little over a decade since his stint in the Congress government headed by then Chief Minister Digambar Kamat.
BJP eyes Salcete contituency
The BJP, however, must be certainly looking forward to a “feel good” factor in the minority stronghold of Salcete which went unrepresented in the BJP government since the 2022 Assembly election, coming as it does in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
Whether Sequeira’s induction into the Cabinet will help the saffron brigade gain those “extra votes” from the minority taluka and keep the party in good stead may be a subject of debate in local political circles. For, past experience suggests that the induction of minority Ministers in the BJP government hardly had any impact in influencing the voting pattern in the minority-dominated taluka.
Political candidates from Salcete
The last time, a Catholic MLA from Salcete was inducted into the BJP government was in 2019 when former Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues was rewarded with a Ministerial berth by the party for his defection from the Congress along with nine other MLAs in mid-July 2019. Before the defection of the 10 Congress MLAs into the BJP in mid-July 2019, Goa Forward party Chief Vijai Sardesai was a Minister from Salcete in the BJP dispensation, holding important portfolios including the Town and Country Planning.
In the 2012 election which saw a change in political guard and the return of the former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar, then Independent Navelim MLA Avertano Furtado had got a representation in the Parrikar dispensation. At the fag end of the Assembly term, former Minister representing Nuvem Mickky Pacheco was also inducted into the Cabinet.